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    July 2017
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Because that is life (and a recipe)

I was recently reminded of an incident that illustrates how frustratingly funny (both strange and ha ha) life can be sometimes. Here’s how it went down:

A few years ago, my husband and I finally gave up the fight and bought cell phones, a major expense for us. Shortly afterward, I was sitting at the table with my daughter and a slew of her friends for lunch. I looked around the table and saw. . .a forest of tall glasses–full of water, one at each child’s place. Looked at my cell phone lying on the table. Looked at the full water glasses. Looked at my cell phone. Plucked my cell phone up from the danger of the imminent flood–and promptly dropped it into my soup.

HA!

The soup was good though. Here is the recipe:

Southwest Stew

Buy a chicken to roast. Roast it (what else?) Have a nice dinner with your family, but freeze 1 1/2 to 2 cups of chicken for the soup.

Next, cook up the chicken bones for broth. You can do it! It’s easy! Just break up the bones and cover with 12 to 16 cups of water. Throw in some raw veggies (carrots, celery, onion, whatever you have.) Add a tablespoon of vinegar, a few cloves of garlic, two or three bay leaves, some peppercorns, and salt. Bring to boil, then simmer for HOURS. Try for at least four hours. Scoop out the goop, then strain out the little stuff. Put the broth in the fridge until cool to make it easy to skim off the fat. After it is cooled, freeze in 2 cup portions. Pat yourself on the back for being all frugal and Suzy Homemaker-y.

Now (and stay with me) buy a 32 ounce container of your favorite yogurt. Eat it, make smoothies or cakes or whatever, but save the container. Put it in your freezer. When you have vegetables leftover at supper that are not enough to keep for another meal, put it in the yogurt container with the juice. When the container is full, make some soup!

Add the frozen, leftover veggies to 6 cups of the wonderful homemade broth you concocted. Add the leftover chicken. Bring to a boil. Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of barley. Reduce heat and simmer until barley is cooked. Season to taste. Serve with hot cornbread–of course, bake the cornbread in a skillet!

Note:  Keep your cell phone far, far away from the soup.

PS: Ok, I know many of you reading this blog (if there are many of you reading this blog. Ok, some of you reading this blog. OK!) If one were actually to read this blog, one might wonder (satisfied?) why is this soup called Southwest Stew? There are no spices or ingredients that are usually found in dishes called Southwest Something. Here’s the story. I promise you, it’s short. We’re almost done here.

Once upon a time, I was an office manager for a homeless shelter. Once a week, our cook would gather whatever leftover veggies and meat were available in the walk-in refrigerator and make soup. This yummy dish was known as Walk-in Stew. You get it, right? Walk-in fridge/walk-in stew? Ok, then. This name sounded less than appetizing to me because it reminded me of feet, so I decided to change the name. (Yes! I changed the name of the soup by fiat. Office managers rule!) The kitchen was in the south west corner of the building, so, voila! Southwest Stew! Enjoy!

It’s Offensively Summer (and another recipe)

OK, all of you peace loving people, you may want to skip this post, ’cause it ain’t gonna be peaceful.

My daughter and I went for a bike ride this morning. Love the daughter. Like the biking. Really, really don’t like the weather. At 7 AM, the temperature was 76 degrees!  And muggy!

I’ve never been a fan of summer, even as a child when it meant getting out of school for three months. Now it is even worse. As a child I didn’t worry about sunburns, sunscreen (don’t even know if that product was available when I was a child) or West-Nile-virus-carrying mosquitoes. I know this is weird, but putting on sunscreen feels oppressive to me (shudder.) But I burn easily, so I have no choice. (Note to self: research natural sun protection.)

If I could spend the entire summer at the lake, perhaps I would be more resigned. But I feel more caged up in the summer than the winter. We have fairly mild winters here in our little corner of the Ohio Valley, mostly with temperatures in the 20’s, so there are few days when it is too nasty to get outside. But in the summer, the combination of heat, humidity and early morning and evening mosquito invasions can make for very unpleasant days.

I will admit, there are a few things I like about summer, mostly to do with food; such as peaches, watermelon, sweet corn, tomatoes, lima beans, and (sigh) Concord. grape. pies.  Concord grape pies are worthy of an post all by their lonesome. Maybe later.

Well, I feel better having let my rant out. I know that in the Great Scheme of Things my dislike of summer is absurd. What can I do about the weather anyway? Thank goodness for lake time, AC, iced tea (sweet, of course) and our absurdities that can be exploited for blog posts.

BH

Confidential to Vonilda: I DON’T want to hear about the weather in Alaska!  😉

PS: Of course you must know that DH just lo-o-o-o-ves summer.

PPS: You must try this pie. If a Concord grape pie can make someone like me look forward to summer, you know the pie is worth the effort.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/concord-grape-pie-i/detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=concord%20grape%20pie%20i&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Home%20Page

These are the changes I’ve made to the basic recipe: 1) Change 1 1/4 cup white sugar to 2/3 cup white sugar; 2) Change 1/4 cup all purpose flour to 1/2 cup all purpose flour; and 3) Change 3/4 teaspoon lemon juice to 1 teaspoon lemon juice.

(from June 2011)